By Andrea Romano
Updated March 04, 2020
Ingus Kruklitis/Getty Images

Five years ahead of Amsterdam’s upcoming diesel engine ban, the iconic boats along the city’s canals are going fully electric.

According to Reuters, the city of Amsterdam is pushing to completely ban all diesel engines from its canals by 2025 in order to combat climate change, but it looks as if they’re going to be ahead of schedule.

The transition from diesel engines to fully electric is a slow process, but according to city spokesman Wouter Keuning, in a statement to Reuters, 75 percent of the city’s 550 commercial water vehicles are already emissions-free.

The boats themselves are mainly used by tourists to get around and see the sights of the city. According to Reuters, nearly 4 million passengers travel through the canals annually.

Beyond the labor of converting diesel boats into electric vessels, the process also comes at a huge cost for boat operators. Rederij Kooij, one of the city’s largest operator, has been converting boats as they come in for maintenance, costing around €200,000 (about $223,000 USD) to complete. That’s €50,000 for the conversion and €150,000 for repairs. Otherwise, it would take €1 million to built a new electric boat. So far, 13 of Rederij Kooij’s 29 boats have been converted.

But once the boats are all converted, then comes the challenge of keeping them running. The city is planning to install 100 charging stations along the canals by 2021, according to Reuters. Until then, operators are using their own.

As for recreational boats, those are less far along. Only five percent of the city’s estimated 12,000 recreational boats have been converted, Reuters reported.

Other than cleaner water and possible benefits to the planet, The Next Web reported that locals and tourists can also expect the canals to be a little quieter thanks to the phasing out of loud, combustible engines.

Soon you can float down the Amsterdam canals without it adding to your carbon footprint.

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